Duty free limits if you are travelling abroad
Here is a reminder of any duty payable and tax-free allowances if travelling abroad this summer.
If you are travelling from outside the UK and arriving home in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland), you are allowed to bring the following back to for your own use without any UK tax or duty liabilities.
200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco or 200 sticks of tobacco for electronic heated tobacco devices. This allowance can be split, so you could bring in 100 ... read more
Tax-free trivial benefits
There is a benefit in kind (BiK) trivial exemption that applies to small non-cash benefits like a bottle of wine, or a bouquet of flowers given occasionally to employees or any other BiK classed as 'trivial' that falls within the exemption. By taking advantage of the exemption employers can simplify the treatment of BiKs whilst at the same time offering a tax efficient way to give small gifts to employees.
The trivial benefit rules provide a great opportunity to give small rewards and ... read more
Using Advisory Fuel rates
The easiest way to ensure that no car-fuel benefit charge (for private journeys in a company car) is payable, is to use the advisory fuel rates published by HMRC to repay any private fuel costs to your employer. The advisory fuel rates are intended to reflect actual average fuel costs and are updated quarterly.
However, the car-fuel benefit charge will still be payable if it cannot be demonstrated to HMRC that the driver of the car has paid for all fuel used for private journeys, this includes ... read more
Scope of Trade
There is no statutory definition of ‘trade’. The only statutory reference to the term is that ‘trade’ includes a ‘venture in the nature of trade’. This absence of a formal definition decides if an activity is a trade more difficult. However, over time the courts have set some established guidance.
It is clear from the significant amount of case law on this subject that a decision on whether there is a trade is a grey area. However, even having established that a trade, or a venture in the ... read more
Using the Annual Investment Allowance
The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) is a generous tax relief that was first introduced in 2008. The AIA allows for the total amount of qualifying expenditure on plant and machinery to be deducted from profits before tax.
The AIA can be claimed by an individual, partnership or company carrying on a trade, profession or vocation, a UK non-residential property business or a furnished holiday let. Only partnerships or trusts with a mixture of individuals and companies in the business structure ... read more
There are special rules known as the miscellaneous income sweep-up provisions that seek to charge tax on certain income. This unusual provision, which is broad in scope, catches income that would not otherwise be charged under specific provisions to Income Tax or Corporation Tax.
Amongst the types of income covered are:
payment for a service where it was agreed that the service would be provided for reward.
income received under an agreement or arrangement, which is not otherwise ... read more
Gifts with reservation
The majority of gifts made during a person's life are not subject to tax at the time of the gift. These lifetime transfers are known as 'potentially exempt transfers' or 'PETs'. These gifts or transfers achieve their potential of becoming exempt from Inheritance Tax if the taxpayer survives for more than seven years after making the gift. There is a tapered relief available if the donor dies between three and seven years after the gift is made.
The effective rates of tax on the excess over the ... read more
Tax relief on replacement of domestic items
The replacement of domestic items relief has been in place since April 2016. The relief allows landlords the ability to claim tax relief when they replace movable furniture, furnishings, household appliances and kitchenware in a rental property. The allowance is available for the cost of domestic items such as free- standing wardrobes, curtains, carpets, televisions, fridges and crockery.
The amount of the deduction is based on:
the cost of the new replacement item, limited to the cost of an ... read more
Business records if self-employed
If you are self-employed as a sole trader or as a partner in a business partnership, then you must keep suitable business records as well as separate personal records of your income.
For tax purposes, the business records must be held for at least 5 years from the 31 January submission deadline for the relevant tax year. For example, for the 2020-21 tax year where online filing was due by 31 January 2022 you must keep your records until at least the end of January 2027. In certain situations, ... read more
Construction services taxed at VAT zero or 5% rate
Whilst most businesses in the UK charge VAT at the standard rate of 20%, there are a number of different VAT rates and exemptions that businesses should be aware of. In the UK, there are three separate VAT rates, the standard rate @ 20%, reduced rate @ 5% and the zero rate @ 0%.
HMRC has published an updated version of their guidance titled VAT rates on different goods and services. The guidance provides a list of goods and services showing which rates of VAT apply and which items are exempt or ... read more